Wheelchair basketball scores

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

The national wheelchair basketball team has received a shot in the arm - a four-year deal from Sasol - before their preparations for the All Africa Games and the Paralympic Games qualifiers in Algeria in July.

Operations director Charles Saunders said the deal is worth R750000 in the first year, which will be increased every year.

Sasol's group sponsorship manager Andriesa Singleton said they were delighted to be involved with both the national wheelchair basketball team as well as the Sasol Technical Excellence Programme.

"We are partners in a well- planned strategy to elevate this exciting sport to levels that will inspire players to greatness and rally the nation behind them in their endeavour to qualify for the next Paralympics," Singleton said.

This sponsorship incorporates the national team and the sport's Technical Excellence Programme.

It came on the brink of a crucial Test series against Holland on home soil. Saunders said wheelchair basketball can now lift its performance.

"Funds are available to develop our best talent and to fly our best players to crucial matches at international venues," he said.

This sponsorship also comes after the selection of a 15-member team from the 21 athletes who have been together for three years.

They will play the Dutch in six Tests in Johannesburg and Durban from 22 June to 8 July.

Their first Test is against Holland on 24 June at Mandeville Indoor Centre, with the next three Tests at the same venue.

South Africa will be captained by Marius Papenfus and coached by the experienced Viv Sierra.

The team: Richard Nortje, Jeremy Nel, David Curle, Thandile Zonke, Luvuyo Mbanda, Sipho Gumbi, Marius Papenfus (captain), Nick Taylor, Malcom Chinian, Justin Govender, Marcus Retief, Shaun Hartnick.

Reserves: Willie Mulder, Vuyani Dom, Lucas Sithole.

Management: Viv Sierra (coach), Kelebone Mosuoe (assistant coach), Willie Riechert (manager).